Murder! Wealth! A cover-up! Salacious sex! That's the formula trashy television loves to mine for primetime soaps, and it's on full display in NBC's new drama Deception. I've seen the pilot, and I'm here to help guide you through your decision of whether to sit down watch, or skip it in order to finish that crocheted blanket of a dog and a cat hugging. (Between you and me, I'd go with the blanket.)
Meagan Good stars as Detective Joanna Locasto, the hard-nosed (and sexy!) type. When she learns that her super-rich childhood bestie Vivian Bowers overdosed to death on drugs, she heads back to the Bowers family manor to mourn. But since Deception is a sudser, Vivian quickly realizes that murder may have been involved and goes undercover, and every member of the Bowers family—who once employed Joanna's mom as their housekeeper—is a suspect! Plus people make out and stuff. The series was previously called Infamous, and previously previously called Notorious.
The first network series premiere of the midseason, Deception gets the jump on the rest of the competition on Monday, January 7 at 10pm on NBC. That's Revolution's old slot, as the new hit is off 'til late March. Deception follows The Biggest Loser, which wraps the second part of its two-part Season 14 debut that same night.
Fans of shows where every character is rich and good looking and one snooty eyeroll away from a murder spree. This is essentially NBC's shot at recreating the buzz ABC earned with its own wealthy assholes of Revenge.
Though it's nothing new, there's a solid dramatic soap concept in place with a rich family that hates each other and an audience surrogate (Joanna) there to walk us through the mysteries. Katherine LaNasa also shines as the wine-chugging, sour step-matriarch Sophia, and Tate Donovan, who is always welcome on my screen, plays the eldest brother. And hey, a minority lead!
God, the acting and the dialogue. They're both absolutely atrocious at points. Like, we're talking "one step up from a Lifetime movie" atrocious. The show also asks the audience to take huge leaps of faith, and the convenient connectedness of everyone involved is a bit much.
This formula worked for Revenge's first season because it embraced its trashiness. Deception makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, creating a boring hour of television with duds for bombshells. Only tune in if you don't have a crocheted blanket to finish or bar trivia to play or Castle to watch or pretty much anything else to do.
Can I see a trailer?
Actually, you can watch the whole pilot episode, if Hulu allows it.
But if not, here's a trailer:
Red wine and some Xanax.
Deception debuts Monday, January 7 at 10pm on NBC.